2022 October 24 / Vincent
Dysphagia is a health condition that affects many seniors. Here’s what you should know about it.
SYMPTOMS People with dysphagia have difficulty swallowing. This may lead to:
• Gagging • Choking when trying to swallow • Feeling like something is stuck in the throat • Excessive salivation • Pain
The symptoms of dysphagia can range from mild to severe and in some cases make swallowing virtually impossible. Additionally, the inability to eat can have significant implications including unhealthy weight loss and malnutrition. Breathing problems may also arise.
CAUSES Dysphagia can be caused by various health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), dementia, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS) and lung or throat cancer. Difficulty swallowing may also occur temporarily in people who suffer from pharyngitis.
SOLUTIONS There are products available that can make mealtimes safer for people with dysphagia. In particular, some companies offer foods that are a suitable consistency for easy swallowing. Plus, specialized glasses, spoons and straws can be purchased to assist with swallowing.
Various exercises and medications may also be prescribed to treat dysphagia.
If you’re having trouble swallowing, consult your doctor to identify the cause of the problem and find a solution.
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